By Ishaan . July 2, 2009 . 8:55am
Say hello to Chunsoft’s newest visual novel adventure, Kyokugen Dasshiutsu 9 Jikan 9 Jin 9 no Tobira (Extreme Escape: 9 Hours, 9 People, 9 Doors). Yes, the premise is exactly what it sounds like! The game features nine kidnapped characters trapped on a ship. Each character has a bracelet on their arm featuring a number from 1-9. These bracelets can be used to unlock doors throughout the ship, but there’s a catch.
In order to unlock a door, the sum of the numbers on the bracelets of people passing through it has to be equal to the number on the door. This means that not every single person can pass through the same door, causing the group to split up and explore different parts of the ship simultaneously. You play as Ryohei, a college student who wakes up in the room numbered 5 in blood.
Once on the other side of a door, characters are locked in, and it’s up to you to figure out how to get them out in order to proceed. The setting is reminiscent of a manga I read recently: Doubt, by Tonogai Yoshiki. It’s one of the better shounen releases I’ve read in a while.
It’s unfortunate because Extreme Escape has some nice talent behind it. The scenario is written by Koutaro Uchikoshi, the writer behind Ever17. The art is by Nishimura Kinu, the lady behind the art for Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness, Capcom vs SNK and Street Fighter III. Unfortunately, as with most games, it seems Nishimura’s excellent promotional/concept art has lost a lot of its detail during the transition from concept to ingame portrait.